Answering the hard questions

Teens have an uncanny ability to detect a lie. So when they ask a question, be prepared.

That’s why parents can get stressed when faced with questions about their own high school days. But we are here to help.

Question: Mom/Dad, did you drink in high school? If you did, why can’t I?

For parents, this can be the hardest question to answer. But remember, this isn’t about YOU, it’s about your teen. Your response needs to remind your child that you want what’s best for him or her. And that’s not drinking.

Question: Why shouldn’t I drink? Everyone is drinking!

This is an easy one to answer! According to the California Healthy Kids Survey results, most teens haven’t had a drink in the past 30 days. In fact, most teens AREN’T drinking.

Sometimes we get so caught up in what is bad, that we forget to notice the good. And the good is this: Most teens are making the right decision.

Question: What am I supposed to do if I’m at a party, and everyone is drinking?

Congratulations! You and your teen are have a great conversation at this point. There are lots of ways parents and teens can handle a situation.

For teens, it can be a codeword texted to parents that sends a message that they want to come home, or need a ride home with a sober driver. (And make sure your teen knows that sober driver is someone who has had NOTHING to drink.)

Want to learn more about the kind of questions teens might ask… and how to prepare for the answers? Check out this brochure from the Federal Trade Commission, especially the section “Answering Questions about Underage Drinking.”